This year, I had to let go of some of my complete independence that I was running on since the separation. Financially, I just couldn’t quite manage the old apartment I was in (depleted most of my savings on hand at the time), so I had to opt to find a roommate and go back to cohabiting in an apartment.

Living with a roommate again is kind of a huge deal. I had a less then desirable experience with this when I was in college. The first roommates I lived with when I moved off campus were not exactly a good decision. One was pretty on top of things (he was also in a near-engaged relationship with his high school girlfriend), but the other was essentially my best friend at the time after my sophomore year. However, he turned out to be rather irresponsible on maintaining any regular duties1, and a bit of a slob to boot2. Combine this with the fact that he played EverQuest so religiously that he couldn’t maintain his job that summer (or the following one), I had to get out of there the second summer I lived there.

At that point, I moved out on my own; I lived alone for the remaining three years in Fargo, and it was fantastic. I had complete control over my domain, the messiness (or more exactly cleanliness), food, and environmental controls. I paid my bills, cleaned my apartment, watched what I wanted, stayed up as late as I wanted, and had over whomever I wanted. It was grand!

I moved to Buffalo with Holly after we got married. She was the only roommate I had to deal with after that. Until now!

With my finances in a crunch, I was fortunate enough to find a female that was looking for any roommate. She sounded relatively normal, had a mildly eccentric (from the photos) but cozy look to the apartment, and the rent was easily just right. I checked it out, filled out an app, prayed that I got picked out of any other takers, and I lucked out!

I had huge reservations over all of this. Could I handle dealing with another person’s idiosyncrasies again? Would she turn out to be a total slob despite the superficial appearance of the apartment during the tour(s)? Would she turn out bat-shit crazy when I least expected it? Would I flip over some total desecration of my own belongings in some cult-like heresy burning?

In short, no3. She turned out to be a delightful girl with some interesting and amusing quirks to her. She admits she’s a bit of a bum when it comes to dishes, but it’s nothing I cannot handle. We borrow each other’s books for reading from time to time, I graced her with the benefit of a TV and BluRay player4, and every now and then we connect and chat about whatever happens to be the topic on hand. We used to chat a bit more during the first month or two, but I’m not sure if things have just changed since then or she’s just satisfied with what she’s gotten so far and just takes it from there.

I still feel like I’m tiptoing around at times5, but it’s not so bad. I think I only feel like that because it feels hard to read my roommate some days. That does bring to mind something else I should probably let go of, however, and that is my over-concerned nature with how other people view or interact with me. But that’s a story for another day!

P.S. I’ll be catching up on the other reverb10 days tomorrow. I just didn’t catch on to what all those tweets were about it until tonight!

1Our phone line was turned off twice because he neglected to pay the bill for three consecutive months. It was agreed I was paying cable and water/garbage, he was paying electric and telephone. I think the reconnection charge was pushing $50, and he still managed to let it happen a second time!
2He piled his mail on the table for lord knows how long. He let dirty dishes sit in his bedroom until they were growing stuff. His beer bottles would typically be growing mold by the time they’d make it to the garbage. He once left an entire three-box pot of mac’n’cheese sit on the stove overnight after he was done cooking it (thankfully the heat wasn’t on).
3In long, thank god, no!
4She seems to use them infrequently, however; she’s much more comfortable just using her computer to play DVD’s despite the TV’s 37″ size.
5It still feels a little weird to be living with a female I did not know prior, compared to living with one I was in a serious relationship with for nearly four years.

July rolls around and it’s another month come and gone. June has gone by in a virtual sort of blink; searching for a new apartment, trying to get back into a groove in the lab, finishing up couples counseling and starting the packing process have caused things to fly along much faster than anticipated. There has been more going on lately, but I’ll separate that into a few other posts for the sake of sparing people too much information in a single post.

I sank nearly a week of time into apartment hunting, only to see a handful of mediocre complex apartments before finding a nice privately owned/operated place above a work office. Throughout that process, I realized I wasn’t nearly aggressive enough in my apartment hunting habits, passing over places with lacking information or less than ideal “descriptions” of the domicile, leading me into misinformed assumptions of what the properties looked like.

Thankfully, my friend Liz excels at this game of cat & mouse while apartment hunting and pushed me into the aggressive mode (at least for me, that is). As a consequence, I’ve settled on a huge, spacious two bedroom apartment on the second floor of a building just off of Elmwood, and even settling for a few dollars lower than the original asking rent to help me along while I’m running on a more limited monthly budget. Even in this process, however, I came across some other fairly nice properties that I probably would not have seen in the first place. I nearly took a one bedroom unit on the third floor of a house for a hundred or so less a month. Regardless, I can’t thank Liz enough for assisting and pushing me in finding a new residence, despite the fact she was on vacation in Oregon at the time. Yikes!

Lab work has been less than reasonably industrious. I really felt bad about asking my PI for time off to go back for my ten year reunion in just under two weeks from now. I will really have to make up for the nearly two week absence I will be taking in order to offset that, and get things ready and done for my committee meeting this fall. The latest purification of my protein of interest has not been nearly as smooth sailing as the original literature purification method suggests. Regardless, I’m hopefully in the final bouts of my purification run for a large batch; I just need to clean up a few additional buggers that co-purified with my own protein. Thank god for the FPLC, but unfortunately our new columns for the ÄKTA won’t be here soon enough to use a fresh/untainted column for this work. I’m hoping the sub-par HiTrap Capto S can provide the resolution I need at this stage of my purification.